To understand its full implications, though, it’s important to view its origins. Several days before, a similar movement had come along: #PublishingPaidMe. Authors revealed their advances -- money paid before royalties -- on social media, and a spreadsheet was produced that showed heavily unequal pay rates. Of authors who had made six figures, over half were white, only seven were black.
Game development is a costly process, but employees can be poorly paid and work conditions are often unhealthy.
Other movements have similarly come up, such as #AnimationPaidMe, but in particular, the gaming industry found its own brand of the hashtag: #GameDevPaidMe.
It’s similar to the original in that the motive and method was the same: to share what they worked as and their pay. A similar spreadsheet was built based on data from North American game devs, and what it revealed was far more troubling: the pay rates for certain positions in the game industry are often low, with the pay of QA Testers being criticized in particular.
#GameDevPaidMe— Hanna(no h) Yoon 👻 🅱️LM (@GhostHeart_) June 7, 2020
$10.50/hr - QA tester at Konami.
$12.50/hr - "Lead" Compliance Tester at Konami.
Those aren't livable wages in Los Angeles or any city. QA is horrendously underpaid for the work they do, especially publishing QA.
These pay levels, many believe, aren’t proportional to the amount of education, experience, and dedication required. Even if they are, the cost of living in such areas may be too high. Some are beginning to reconsider careers in the gaming industry, which isn’t just a bad sign for the industry itself, but also for game consumers and esports.
#GameDevPaidMe is making me realise two things.— fabs(); (@raspofabs) June 7, 2020
1) game devs are underpaid for for the amount of money the industry makes off their work.
2) I'm getting paid less than half of what many other people with less experience are getting.
Conclusion : don't get into games.
If the game devs of the future are dissuaded from the industry due to the pay, then the future of gaming could be bleak, with less variety in titles and a buyers market for games publishers as they become the only game in town. For Esports, the growing awareness of the current state of the gaming industry reflects poorly.
- Read more: What makes a game an esport?
Only time can tell whether the situation will grow enough to bring about sweeping changes with positive impacts for underpaid positions and people, and a better future for esports and gaming.